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history • 16 days, 15 nights

Silk Road Cities of Central Asia

Kazakhstan
history • 16 days, 15 nights

Silk Road Cities of Central Asia

Kazakhstan
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  • Group Size 12 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
    Moderate
  • Travel Style
    Road Trip
from $4,945 USD per person
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Traveling with Atlas Obscura during COVID-19

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Trip Overview
Overview

Just outside of Khujand, Tajikistan, a gargantuan stone likeness of Lenin gazes purposefully across the horizon. Dismantled and removed from the center of what was once his namesake city (Leninabad), it now sits in the middle of a quaint, grassy field, with all but a few cows to call comrades. In Tajikistan and across much of Central Asia, these Soviet relics are everywhere—some have been abandoned while others stand prominently alongside ancient architecture and majestic mosques. Join us on an epic, two-week, four-country road trip as we wind through Kazakh bazaars, wade in Kyrgyzstan’s glassy Issyk-kul lake, explore a former Soviet military base in Tajikistan, and wander through Uzbekistan’s ancient Silk Road cities. As we make our overland journey, passing a few forlorn-looking Lenin busts as we go, we’ll cover over 2,000 miles; a dazzling diversity of art, music, and architecture; and over two millennia of history.

Highlights
  • Ancient Silk Road hubs with a post-Soviet flair
  • Spectacular mountain landscapes and glacial lakes
  • Socialist Modernist architecture, mosaics, and monuments
  • Local bazaars and traditional markets
  • Scenic drives and immersive visits across four countries

Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan

Additional Info

Pricing

The listed price of this trip is per person based on double occupancy.

Traveling Solo?

You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you: 

Shared Room (subject to the latest Covid-19 guidelines): You'll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender.

Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $630. When booking, please select the single room package option.

Accommodations

Throughout the trip, we'll be staying in comfortable accommodations with standard amenities. In cities, we’ll be in centrally located hotels (three-to-four-star equivalent), while in smaller towns we’ll be in traditional guest houses. In Song Kol, we'll spend one night in comfortable, clean yurts close to the lake.

Transportation

We’ll be covering a lot of ground over the course of our two weeks across four countries. Most of this transport will take place in a private, air-conditioned minibus, with driving hours per day ranging widely; most days will involve at least a few hours on the road, while our longest day will be around eight hours of driving altogether, with plenty of breaks along the way.

Arrival & Departure

Note that this trip begins and ends in two different locations. You should plan to arrive in Almaty, Kazakhstan by 5 p.m. on Day 1, and to depart from Khiva, Uzbekistan anytime on Day 16. (Note that your departure airport is Urgench International Airport.) 

Included
  • Accommodation throughout the trip at comfortable hotels and guesthouses
  • All meals as described in the itinerary
  • Transportation throughout the trip, including arrival and departure airport transfers
  • An experienced Atlas Obscura Leader to accompany you for the duration of the trip as well as special guests throughout
  • Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events
  • A curious group of fellow Atlas Obscura travelers!
  • 24/7 emergency assistance during your trip, provided by Global Rescue (terms apply)
  • Special access to unique places and extraordinary experiences
Excluded
  • Transportation and flights to Almaty, Kazakhstan, and from Khiva, Uzbekistan
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages
  • Passport and visa fees, if applicable
  • COVID-19 testing requirements
  • Customary gratuities for Trip Leader
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Trip FAQ

The countries where we'll be traveling do not require visas in advance for travelers of most nationalities. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan all grant visas upon arrival, while Tajikistan requires an e-visa that costs $50 and has a quick, two-day turnaround. We'll provide additional information on visas leading up to the trip.

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Upcoming Departures

Choose your own private trip dates
Inquire now about a private departure for friends and family. Trip cost may vary based on group size and travel dates.

Choose your own private trip dates

Inquire now about a private departure for friends and family.

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